SMS marketing is a strategy for sending SMS messages to a broad audience worldwide. It is efficient for all kinds of businesses because it helps them reach different goals quickly.

Watch the video to learn how to boost your business with SMS marketing!

In this article, we’ll unveil SMS marketing's advantages and pricing, uncover SMS marketing strategy, and provide you with the best software. We’ll also delve into SMS marketing best practices and ideas.

Why use SMS marketing?

SMS marketing is considered one of the most effective channels for communication with customers since there are 4.88 billion smartphone users worldwide. People use their phones to check their inboxes, browse the web, and explore attractive offers through SMS. SMS campaigns have instant deliverability, high engagement, and visibility.

SMS open rates show excellent results. According to statistics, people open and read 90% of SMS messages within three minutes of delivery. Besides reading the message's content, customers often perform the desired action. Statistics say that SMS marketing brings an average conversion rate of over 25%.

Let's examine the benefits of incorporating SMS marketing into your business strategy to find out more reasons for doing so.

Benefits of SMS Marketing

SMS marketing carries numerous pros for companies. Here are some main reasons to incorporate SMS marketing into your business strategy.

  • Global reach. As five billion people have a mobile connection, SMS marketing offers vast opportunities for engaging with the audience, limited only by creativity and the size of the phone number list.
  • High level of interaction. People check their mobile phones 80 times a day. So, SMS marketing campaigns show a significant open rate.
  • Multiple opportunities for usage. Businesses use SMS marketing for advertising, alerts, notifications, reminders, password confirmations, competitions, news, product information, etc.
  • Fits businesses of all sizes. Huge companies like banks, travel agencies, airlines, healthcare providers, etc., take advantage of SMS marketing as a tool to reach the masses. At the same time, a small business uses it for local audiences with more precise aims on a smaller scale.
  • Instant contact with users. Typically, an SMS campaign takes 3-6 seconds to deliver. Speed is an essential factor in SMS marketing efficiency.
  • No bounces. Unlike email marketing, there are no bounces during SMS marketing campaigns. Even if a mobile device is out of range or turned off, the SMS will reach users after the phone is connected to a cellular network again.
  • Works best in combination with other channels. When incorporating SMS marketing, you can combine several communication channels, such as emails, chatbots, web push notifications, and others based on your primary goals. This increases the visibility and effectiveness of your marketing message.
  • No special skills are required. Creating SMS campaigns and sending them to your audience is very easy, fast, and suitable for people without any previous experience. With a good platform, you’ll need up to 10 minutes to develop it.

After learning about the benefits of this marketing strategy, you might want to explore the costs associated with this channel. Let’s discover whether it requires a lot of financial resources.

How much does SMS marketing cost?

The pricing of SMS marketing varies among different SMS providers. Three factors influence SMS prices:

  • Location. Prices vary depending on the country you send SMS to.
  • Channel. The cost depends on whether you send an SMS to your native or foreign country. Accordingly, it is called the national or international channels.
  • Sender’s name. The laws of some countries require registration of the sender’s name. An unregistered sender’s name allows only 11 symbols.

Now, let’s discover how to use SMS marketing to your advantage.

How to use SMS marketing?

  1. Create a subscriber list
  2. Select a reliable service
  3. Think of the eye-grabbing message
  4. Choose the right timing and frequency
  5. Apply customer segmentation
  6. Keep an eye on SMS strategy performance
  7. Consider using other channels
  8. Eliminate issues and improve efficiency

To ensure the effectiveness of your steps, you can check out instructions guiding you through the process of incorporating SMS into your business strategy to attain your goals faster.

  1. Create a subscriber list. To reap the benefits of SMS marketing, you need to collect the contact data of your prospects. Opt-in forms, social media platforms, landing pages, in-store sign-ups, and pop-ups are the tools you can use to do it fast.
  2. Select a reliable service. Many platforms allow you to send SMS messages to your subscribers in no time, yet not all of them will fit your business. Search for a solution that aligns with your budget, features, and business size requirements. With SendPulse, you can use scheduling and segmentation, craft personalized SMS messages, and access built-in analytics to track performance at a low cost.
  3. Think of the eye-grabbing messages. Your SMS should encourage subscribers to open them instantly. You can do it by crafting short and sweet messages that include attractive offers, discounts, and exclusive promos. Make sure that your SMS is personalized to each audience segment’s needs, preferences, and problems for better engagement and conversions.
  4. Choose the right timing and frequency. Time and frequency are the two factors influencing customer decisions. It’s not advisable to send messages too often to avoid annoying potential customers leading to unsubscribes. Consider testing various times and frequencies to find out what prospects prefer more.
  5. Apply customer segmentation. The next step is segmentation, which implies dividing subscribers into groups based on demographics, purchase history, or engagement. With its help, you can deliver messages crafted to meet specific needs, sounding more relevant and effective.
  6. Keep an eye on SMS strategy performance. Metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates are crucial to keep an eye on. These key indicators will give you a hint into your strategy optimization.
  7. Consider using other channels. SMS marketing is more effective when combined with other communication channels, including email, social media, and ads. Consider developing campaigns that combine several marketing channels to effectively reach your target audience.
  8. Eliminate issues and improve efficiency. Every campaign can have problems that you can resolve promptly. Track its performance and make adjustments as needed. Consider testing multiple messaging strategies, timing, and segmentation techniques to achieve the best results.

Besides understanding how to use SMS marketing, you should also have a strategy for its successful incorporation. That’s why we invite you to check out the next section.

SMS Marketing Strategy

  1. Identify your key goals
  2. Understand your target audience
  3. Build a quality subscriber list
  4. Identify the right tool
  5. Create relevant content
  6. Apply audience segmentation
  7. Outline the schedule for your SMS messages
  8. Optimize your strategy
  9. Comply with regulations

Creating a strong SMS marketing strategy involves several steps. We'll provide you with instructions to guide you through this process.

  1. Identify your key goals. Focus on objectives first. They should be clear, measurable, and achievable. For instance, you can strive to improve sales by 10%, boost website traffic, promote new releases, notify customers about special offers, or communicate loyalty program rewards.
  2. Understand your target audience. By identifying and analyzing buyer persona's demographics, preferences, behaviors, and communication habits, you can provide relevant offers and reach your goals faster. Using these customer insights will help you craft SMS messages that resonate with your customer’s needs and boost engagement.
  3. Build a quality subscriber list. Opt-in strategies like pop-ups, social media promotions, in-store sign-ups, and incentivized offers can help you obtain more leads. Before sending SMS messages to these customers, make sure that subscribers consent to receive SMS from your company.
  4. Identify the right tool. The platform you choose depends on your preferences, needs, and financial resources. When selecting the software, pay attention to features like list segmentation, personalization, automation, scheduling, analytics, and other features that will help you deliver quality messages and analyze their performance. Consider utilizing SendPulse because it covers all the above-listed features and is easy to use.
  5. Create relevant content. To resonate with your audience segments, ensure that your messages are concise, engaging, and relevant. They should provide value to your subscribers and inform them about the offers they might be interested in. Your SMS messages should contain clear language, attractive offers, and CTAs for potential customers to complete the desired actions.
  6. Apply audience segmentation. Demographics, purchase history, engagement level, or interests are important factors for effective communication with potential customers. Use these criteria to divide your subscribers into groups for more targeted and personalized SMS resonating with each segment. It will help you boost engagement and conversions.
  7. Outline the schedule for your SMS messages. Identify the perfect timing and frequency for sending messages. Consider factors that might influence your decision regarding timing, such as time zone differences, customer preferences, and the type of your offers.
  8. Optimize your strategy. Monitor your SMS marketing strategy's performance. Analyze customer insights and collect feedback to optimize your SMS messages' performance and attain the necessary results. Try various tactics, offers, and timing to find out what works best with your audience.
  9. Comply with regulations. Your SMS campaigns should comply with regulations and guidelines. Make sure to receive consent from subscribers before sending messages, provide clear opt-out instructions, and respect consumer rights.

To smoothly create your SMS campaigns according to the instructions above, you need proper SMS marketing software that fits your budget, requirements, and needs. We’ve compiled a list of the best platforms in terms of features, usability, and pricing, so let’s check them out to find your perfect match.

5 SMS Marketing Software

  1. SendPulse
  2. SimpleTexting
  3. Brevo
  4. ActiveCampaign
  5. SlickText

Numerous SMS marketing platforms are available for small and large businesses, yet not all of them can 100% align with your marketing goals. We’ve listed 5 best services that have all the necessary features for sending quality SMS campaigns to your subscribers. So, let’s discover them right now.

SendPulse

SendPulse is a multipurpose solution that allows you to effortlessly send SMS campaigns in addition to email campaigns, pop-ups, landing pages, and web push notifications. The platform enables you to segment your audience and set up dates and times to send personalized SMS messages. With its help, you can deliver various types of content, including balance replenishment, birthday discounts, subscription confirmation, and order status notifications and updates.

Features:

  • segmentation;
  • personalization;
  • unsubscribe and tracking URLs;
  • SMS scheduling;
  • CRM integration;
  • visual builder;
  • subscription forms.

Pricing: You can send the first 10 SMS messages for free. Afterwards, the price of SMS depends on the country. For example, you’ll need to pay $0.022 per SMS to send to recipients in the US.

SimpleTexting

SimpleTexting is a service that empowers small businesses to send large numbers of SMS messages and reach wide audiences using one-on-one and two-way messaging. It’s simple and easy to use for all users without any knowledge or skills.

Features:

  • recurring texts;
  • scheduled texts;
  • away messages;
  • text-for-Info keywords;
  • scheduling;
  • autoresponders;
  • mass texting;
  • two-way messaging;
  • AI Assist message generator;
  • API access;
  • segmentation.
Source: Simple Texting

Pricing: The service has a free 14-day trial. After the trial expires, you’ll need to pay $39 plus $4 one-time carrier registration for 500 texts.

Brevo

Brevo is a multi-channel solution that enables users to send personalized SMS campaigns within minutes straight to recipients. The service helps you create relevant SMS based on location, preferences, and purchase history, deliver them to subscribers, and track key SMS campaign metrics.

Features:

  • SMS campaign scheduling;
  • trigger transactional messages for order confirmations and shipping updates;
  • personalization;
  • segmentation;
  • CMS integration.
Source: Brevo

Pricing: The price of SMS varies depending on the country and on the number of texts you want to send. For example, 100 SMS will cost you $1.09 in the US.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is well-known for its email software, but it also offers SMS marketing opportunities. You can send reminders, notifications, abandoned cart nudges, or set the SMS sending based on recipients' behavior and actions.

Features:

  • 15+ pre-built SMS automation recipes and triggers;
  • bulk SMS campaigns or one-off messages;
  • a dedicated number;
  • multiple accounts;
  • personalization;
  • segmentation.
Source: ActiveCampaign

Pricing: SMS add-on is available only within a paid subscription which starts at $49 monthly, billed annually.

SlickText

SlickText is an intuitive platform that helps businesses of different sizes send action-driving messages. The service allows businesses to get a dedicated phone number and update customers on special offers, exclusive deals, and discounts.

Features:

  • simple scheduling;
  • event-triggered messaging;
  • personalization;
  • segmentation;
  • two-way texting;
  • max texting;
  • recurring texts.
Source: YouTube

Pricing: The platform offers a free 14-day trial, during which you can send 50 text messages. Then, you’ll need to pay $29 monthly for 500 texts.

In addition to software, having effective strategies at your disposal is crucial for running successful SMS campaigns. That’s why it’s crucial to explore the tactics beforehand.

SMS Marketing Strategies for E-commerce

SMS marketing is one of the most effective channels for communicating with customers in e-commerce when implemented correctly. Here are some strategies to consider.

  1. Send welcome messages. Consider sending welcome messages to new subscribers to show that you appreciate and remember each of them. After that, you should send an introductory offer, a new subscriber discount, etc.
  2. Send abandoned cart reminders. Sending SMS reminders for abandoned shopping carts can greatly impact conversion rates. By providing a direct cart link and incentives like discounts and free shipping, you enhance the chances of closing a sale.
  3. Update customers about order statuses. Use SMS messages to keep customers updated on their order confirmation, shipping updates, order statuses, and delivery notifications. It helps you improve the customer shopping experience with your brand.
  4. Send recommendations with relevant offers. Incorporate SMS to recommend products based on customers' past purchases or browsing history. Personalize recommendations to make them more relevant and increase the likelihood of purchase.
  5. Give gifts on birthdays and anniversaries. These are excellent occasions to drive customer action by providing exclusive deals and discounts. This makes clients feel special and valued, which might result in more purchases.
  6. Gather customer feedback. Consider using SMS messages to collect reviews, ratings, and feedback regarding customer experience, satisfaction, and recommendations. By providing an offer or incentive in exchange for their feedback, you’ll gain more insights into your product or strategy.
  7. Incorporate holiday deals. Outline SMS campaigns for holidays like Christmas, Women’s Day, Thanksgiving, and other occasions. Since people are more likely to purchase during these periods, you can entice them with exclusive prices. Your messages should resonate with customers’ needs to boost engagement and conversions.

SMS marketing is an effective marketing tool yet you can boost your efforts when combining it with other channels like email marketing. In the next section, you can find some robust reasons for using these two communication tools.

Why should you combine email and SMS marketing?

Email and SMS marketing combined are powerful tactics, allowing you to communicate seamlessly with subscribers and reach business goals faster. Here are some benefits you can reap after using them.

  • Wider reach. Since not all customers stick only to one communication channel, it’s essential to combine multiple to deliver your marketing message. When combining email and SMS campaigns, you are more likely to increase your reach and deliver your offers to different customer groups.
  • Attaining multiple goals. Email and SMS marketing help reach different business objectives and deliver different content. For instance, emails are designed to send content including detailed information, while SMS usually includes a short message driving action. SMS messages often have time-sensitive offers, seasonal promotions, and exclusive discounts.
  • Better engagement. A combination of email and SMS campaigns contributes to a higher engagement of your target audience since messages are visible on both channels. On the other hand, customers have the opportunity to communicate with you through the channel they prefer.
  • Higher ROI. Crafting personalized offers for both SMS and email campaigns can bring you better ROI and higher conversion rates. When subscribers see messages tailored to their specific needs and preferences communicated either through emails or SMS messages, they are more likely to engage with your brand, performing some actions like opens, clicks, or purchases.
  • Reduced shopping cart abandonment. With email campaigns, you can remind customers about the items they haven’t checked out yet. It’ll be even more effective when combined with SMS campaigns. Since SMS has high open rates, you can inform them about their shopping carts quickly.

Let’s proceed to the SMS marketing ideas to help improve sales.

10 SMS Marketing Ideas to Boost Sales

  1. Incorporate flash sales
  2. Provide discounts
  3. Send reminders about the items in the shopping cart
  4. Announce new releases and items
  5. Provide product recommendations
  6. Send loyalty rewards
  7. Use upsells and cross-sells
  8. Provide seasonal offers
  9. Send messages about giveaways
  10. Send early bird offers

We’ve gathered some effective ideas for you to consider when incorporating SMS marketing strategy, so let’s review them.

  1. Incorporate flash sales. An SMS containing attractive offers catches the customer's eye and encourages action. Flash sales with limited-time offers and discounts will encourage potential customers to read the message and explore your offers. Consider using a sense of urgency by setting countdowns and driving fear of missing out.
  2. Provide discounts. Since SMS has a limited number of symbols, it is perfect for short messages, including those that encourage action. These include exclusive discounts, promotions, attractive deals, and others. Consider providing special access to the best deals to make them feel appreciated for their loyalty.
  3. Send reminders about the items in the shopping cart. You can use SMS to remind leads about the items in their shopping carts. By adding a link to their cart and an incentive, customers might be more attracted to checking out the products in their shopping carts.
  4. Announce new releases and items. Consider using SMS campaigns to inform subscribers about new product releases or items back in stock. To attract customers and encourage action, you can ensure early access or exclusive deals for more conversions.
  5. Provide product recommendations. SMS is an effective tool for delivering personalized offers. Use customers’ browsing history and items in the shopping cart to suggest products that are relevant and interesting to clients. This will boost purchases.
  6. Send loyalty rewards. Use loyalty programs as incentives for more purchases. By providing rewards in SMS messages, you can improve engagement and repeat purchases, which results in a steady income.
  7. Use upsells and cross-sells. Use clients’ purchase history for your upselling and cross-selling opportunities. Personalized messages will help you promote complementary or upgraded products that are relevant and timely. Include the value of these products so that customers consider these additional items.
  8. Provide seasonal offers. SMS messages are perfect for promoting seasonal products to drive purchasing activity. Before sending generic messages, consider personalizing your offers to increase the opportunities for conversions.
  9. Send messages about giveaways. Engaging and interactive SMS makes customers more likely to take the desired action. Contests and giveaways contribute to this activity. That’s why consider implementing them for your brand and sending short SMS messages encouraging customers to participate. Prizes, discounts, and exclusive offers will serve as incentives for prospects to take part.
  10. Send early bird offers. Using SMS campaigns to send early bird offers is always a good decision. You can use these messages to share access to sales, promotions, and new product releases.

Now, let’s delve into the best practices for a more effective and well-thought-out SMS campaign.

SMS Marketing Best Practices

To ensure that your messages are delivered to the right recipients at the right time with appropriate offers, you need to consider the following best practices. They will help you maximize your marketing efforts, so let’s dive in.

  • Opt-in phone contacts. Don’t send an SMS campaign without recipients’ permission. It’ll do your business more harm than good because people don’t expect messages from you. Use an SMS opt-in approach so that users voluntarily sign up to receive SMS from your company.
  • Make time-sensitive offers. Add an element of urgency mixed with a unique value. This will strengthen your incentive to engage customers with your proposal.
  • Implement personalization. Personalize your SMS marketing to provide your audience with a more pleasant experience. Personalization is a key to building trustful relationships with customers.
  • Write an original text. The SMS is 160 symbols long. You have to be flexible enough to promote your product and intrigue consumers. Be as short as possible, using every word to the point.
  • Segment your audience. With segmentation, you can send slightly different messages to various groups of people based on similarities like gender, country, place in a sales funnel, etc.
  • Send SMS when convenient for users. Find the best time to send an SMS campaign to reach more audiences. Do not interrupt people when they are most probably busy or asleep.

Congrats! Now you know what SMS marketing is and why it’s essential for every business. We hope that our guide and best practices will help you develop an effective SMS strategy that works for your company.

SMS Marketing Examples

SMS marketing is a tool for multiple purposes. Let’s find out how businesses use it to fulfill their needs.

Restaurants. SMS marketing is a crucial instrument to grow loyalty among the customers by giving discounts from time to time.

SMS Marketing

Sports clubs. Businesses, as such, can announce games, confirm the booking, make competitions for the fans, offer discounts on merchandise.

SMS Marketing

Airlines. SMS marketing is useful for sending reminders about the flights, proposals on tickets, updates on new destinations, etc.

SMS Marketing

References

  1. The article "What is SMS Marketing, and How Does it Work?" on Business 2 Community defines SMS marketing, covers its basics, explains the way it works and provides tips to follow.
  2. The article "Getting Started With SMS Marketing" on The Balance Small Business defines the term and explains how to get started.++

FAQ

SMS marketing is considered one of the most effective marketing channels for sales and promotion because people open and read 90% of SMS messages, and it brings a 25% conversion rate.

SMS marketing is legal when companies meet all the regulations and guidelines and have customers’ proper consent. Besides, you should include opt-out options so that customers can easily opt-out from receiving messages.

You can use landing pages, subscription forms, pop-ups, in-store sign-ups, social media platforms, events, giveaways, contests, referral programs, partnerships, and other channels. With SendPulse, you can easily create professional subscription forms, landing pages, and pop-ups, converting users into subscribers. Then, you can use these phone numbers for SMS campaigns when you have consumer consent.

Personalized SMS marketing is a strategy that implies tailoring SMS based on specific criteria, including recipients’ preferences, demographics, browsing, or purchasing history. These messages are crafted based on the needs of audience segments, resulting in more relevant and timely offers.

According to research, Tuesdays and Saturdays are the best days for sending SMS campaigns. It’s also a good idea to send these short messages at the beginning or end of the month. When talking about time, it’s better to deliver them during the lunch break between 12 PM and 1 PM.

SMS marketing key performance indicators you should monitor include delivery, open, click-through, conversion, opt-out, response rates, and ROI. It’s also advisable to monitor engagement metrics like reading time, interaction with CTAs, and embedded links.

Also searched with "SMS marketing"
Rate this article about "SMS marketing"

User Rating: 4 / 5

New

Try SendPulse today for free

If you are interested in SMS marketing, consider our SMS service